All the Spokane food-related stuff that I can't figure out how to wedge into my other blog.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Maddie's Kitty Cat Cake

Cake: Chocolate from How to Bake An American Layer Cake (Best Recipe folks)
9" round pans for two layers
Icing: Butterscotch buttercream
Black features: store-bought icing (tube)
Irises: candied orange peel
Nose & Ears: store bought pink frosting (tube)
Whiskers: Grape Red Vines Licorice, cut into thin strips

The chocolate and butterscotch combo made this cake a winner. This was literally the best cake I've ever eaten. Nice flavors and colors for fall. Start with a simple round and bake with your kids or grandkids to cut away and create and shape. Candy easily can substitute for fancy icing details.

If you have a pastry bag and tips, go crazy. I think we could have had fun making fur with the icing, but for Maddie's first attempt, we tried to keep it simple.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cheap eats

We switched jobs around here since the last time we posted stuff. We're bringing in way less money now -- which isn't a bad thing, since we're happily doing new work -- but, it has impacted our high-flying, high-roller lifestyle when it comes to the food budget. This new scheme really suits our true natures. We're both into deals.

So, while we are looking to save a bunch of money every month on our food budget, it's not at the expense of quality. Really: it just means that we're not going out much. I used to go out for just about every meal, every day: definitely breakfast and lunch, and often dinner. Now we make everything. Just doing that, even while buying fancy organic free range grass fed well adjusted meat, makes all the difference.

So, expect to see some cheap, but good stuff here.

First one is a John version of my mom's Braciole. Mom's recipe calls for all sorts of high-zoot stuffing (pecorino, soprasata, ground veal, etc). I swapped out ground pork sausage and swiss. Next time, I'll leave the swiss cheese out and add a layer of hearty greens and some chicken liver. And I'll probably get non-seasoned ground pork and put some dried porchinis, Cognac, and my own spices in there.

We had sage, but no parsley. And instead of the stock-based braising sauce, I just used some fresh marinara -- that hadn't been cooked down/thickened yet.

Good stuff. My mom would approve. As she would say, "make it your own!"

This is good as a main dish, but it's friggin' crazy awesome as a sandwich filling the next day with some spinach, mayo, and jalapenos.

I used beef round, which is generally a pretty useless cut of beef. But it was on sale at Super 1 for $2.48/lb! Word. I got one dinner out of this and 4 lunches. I figure I was in it around about $13. Not bad.

Anyway, for the round: cut it thin and pound it out. Let it rest. Then pound a bit more. Use string to tie these guys up.

Poor man's charcuterie.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies (flourless)

I posted on FB about a recipe I found for a flourless "cookie." Then famous Spokane biker, Charlie Greenwood pointed me to these flourless cookies, which blew my recipe out of the water. I've made a batch weekly for 2 weeks and am about to make a 3rd batch for a baby shower this weekend. 

I've used chopped almonds but would like to try peanuts and walnuts. I also reduced the sugar 1/2 C of sugar, maybe a T less than the 1/2 C. You might even be able to do less for a more savory cookie. Try these cookie, whether you are gluten-free or not. They are chewy, moist and remain that way for a few days, delicious and pretty nutritious. Also very easy to make--one bowl, no need to get the mixer out to cream the butter and sugar.

Here's where you'll find the recipe for Almond Butter Cookies. Feel free to use peanut butter like I did or other nut butter.

If that link dies, here's the recipe:

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies
1 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a baking sheet with butter and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir almond butter and sugars together until well combined.
Add egg, baking soda, maple syrup, vanilla and salt and mix well. Stir in the almonds and chocolate chips.
Using a teaspoon, scoop out small, walnut-sized amounts of dough and roll them in your hands to form a ball. Place on cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes.